Adding a playground to your rental property can be a great way to improve the value of your property, as well as entice renters with children to take up tenancy. These playgrounds are simple, usually inexpensive to install and can be a great boon to your property—but they can also create risks. What are the pros and cons of installing a playground on your rental property?
One of the biggest benefits of building a commercial playground on your property is that it makes your property more attractive to families, especially those with smaller children. It could be an even bigger draw if you happen to live in an area where there aren’t a lot of parks or playgrounds for children to enjoy.
Liability is one of the biggest reasons most landlords and commercial property owners refuse to set up a playground on their property. Even on the safest playground, kids will find a way to get hurt, and in our litigation-happy society, that means landlords are setting themselves up for liability suits.
The best way to avoid this is to get the playground professionally installed and keep it well-maintained. The only way you, as a landlord, could potentially lose a liability injury suit is if you fail to maintain the playground and if a renter brings these problems to your attention and you neglect to correct them.
Pro: Material Options
What kind of material do you want to use for your playground? You’ve got plenty of choices—wood, metal, plastic, or some combination of the three. Make sure you keep your local climate in mind—untreated wood can weaken and deteriorate in humid conditions, and sun makes unprotected metal too hot to touch for little hands.
If you want to do something for the parents too, you could even incorporate picnic benches, trails, or other equipment that adults can enjoy. Don’t just build a playground as a stand-alone construction. Incorporate it into your natural landscaping and make it seem like it really belongs there.
Con: Constant Maintenance
No matter what material you choose to build your playground out of, it will require constant maintenance to ensure it is safe to use and to protect you from that liability issue we mentioned earlier. Take time to walk the playground regularly and inspect it for any signs of wear or breakdown. If you spot any problems or tenants bring any concerns to your attention, make sure you address them immediately.
Pro: Healthier Tenants
According to the CDC, roughly 17 percent of children, or 12.7 million between the ages of 2 and 19, are obese. The incorporation of technology into our homes has made it harder and harder for parents to get their kids to go out and play—and that task becomes even more difficult when there isn’t anywhere safe for the kids to play.
Even if this doesn’t affect you directly, installing a commercial playground can help combat childhood obesity—and that is something to be proud of in and of itself.
Con: Restricted Use
Are you building a playground any kid in the area can use, or are you planning to fence it off and only allow tenants and their families to use the equipment?
Both choices are entirely legitimate—and the ultimate answer is up to you. Make sure you consider both angles before construction starts. Fencing off the playground is an additional cost, and you will want to make sure you factor it into your budget before you start signing on the dotted line.
Whether you put a playground on your property is entirely up to you. There are plenty of reasons to argue both for and against the construction. If you do choose to get a playground built, make sure you choose a licensed contractor to ensure they complete the job correctly and safely. That doesn’t just protect the children using the equipment—it protects you as well. A well-built playground can add a lot to a property, but only if it is constructed properly and well-maintained throughout its life.
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